Saturday, 26 February 2011

Which walk to do...?

As the time for the move approaches, I am starting to think about which walks to do when we are finally safely ensconced in Cambridge. I know the area like he back of my hand, and have walked a great deal in the county (see map at

Yet I have done no walking in the county for nearly four years, and am keen to revisit some of my old haunts. So what do I do first?

The obvious walk would be to follow the Fen Rivers Way north from Cambridge to King's Lynn, an easy fifty-mile stroll beside the rivers Cam and Great Ouse. It is a walk that means a great deal to me, as it is one that I used to walk getting back to health. I have also not walked most of it since 1999, so I will not be overly familiar with it. On the other hand, the long miles atop the flood banking north of Littleport can get a little monotonous.

What else? Well, I love the Devil's Dyke, a massive 7.5-mile long Anglo-Saxon ditch and bank that runs across the centre of Newmarket Racecourse. I have walked it ten or so times before, but not in the last eight years, and amazingly I have no photographs of it.

Then there is the Hereward Way, a long-distance path that runs for 110 miles east from Stamford past Ely into Norfolk. I have walked all of this in the past, but not all of the walks are on my website.

Further afield, I would love to do the Peddar's Way once again (last walked in 2003), and the entire Norfolk Coast Path. The various Suffolk paths (such as the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Path) also appeal.

I have no idea which of these - or any other walk - I will do first. Cambridgeshire is not seen as being a classic place to walk, and it certainly lacks the grandeur of most other parts of Britain. Yet there are many good walks and great sights: fog rising off the flood plain of the Great Ouse, or Ely Cathedral rising like a ship out of the surrounding Fens.

Then again, I like walking along canals through cities, so perhaps I am no judge.


griffmonster said...

How about the Suffolk Sandlings Path which runs from Ipswich through to Southwold and covers the forests and heaths of the area. An excellent walk in my opinion but then I am biased as I do live in the area!

David Cotton said...

Hi griffmonster,

Yes, the Suffolk Sandlings is on my list, but I would like to re-walk the Norfolk and Suffolk coasts first. For some reason the sea calls...

My list currently has fifteen trails on it, all in (or partially in) East Anglia!

What would you say is the best time of year to walk it?

griffmonster said...

I think this is a trail that is good for anytime of the year. With the numerous forests on route it gives an ever changing array of colour and scenery. My favourite time for walking this is spring when theres new growth coming through. The route is mostly across sandy soils so is pretty well drained and unaffected by weather.

David Cotton said...

Cheers for that. It's decided then; I'll try to do it this spring / summer if everything else goes well.